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Case
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Reference no. 9-922-009
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Originally published in: 2021
Version: 26 July 2021
Length: 13 pages
Data source: Published sources

Abstract

Amazon's failed bid for a second headquarters location ('HQ2') in Long Island City, New York offers many lessons for negotiators looking to avoid similar high-profile defeats in strategically important deals. The company's project - which promised to bring billions of dollars in net new tax revenue and thousands of jobs to the city - initially enjoyed widespread support on the ground, alongside vocal advocacy from political elites at the state and local level. But after the proposal was announced, a relatively small cohort of passionate opponents organized to pressure a key set of lawmakers into opposing the deal, ultimately leading the company to withdraw its offer. Amazon's HQ2 derailment at the hands of these well-organized activists, and its failure to mobilize its broad base of support in useful ways, mark a striking example of the potential pitfalls dealmakers face when negotiating large-scale projects in the public eye.
Size:
> 1 billion; Fortune 500
Other setting(s):
2018-2019

About

Abstract

Amazon's failed bid for a second headquarters location ('HQ2') in Long Island City, New York offers many lessons for negotiators looking to avoid similar high-profile defeats in strategically important deals. The company's project - which promised to bring billions of dollars in net new tax revenue and thousands of jobs to the city - initially enjoyed widespread support on the ground, alongside vocal advocacy from political elites at the state and local level. But after the proposal was announced, a relatively small cohort of passionate opponents organized to pressure a key set of lawmakers into opposing the deal, ultimately leading the company to withdraw its offer. Amazon's HQ2 derailment at the hands of these well-organized activists, and its failure to mobilize its broad base of support in useful ways, mark a striking example of the potential pitfalls dealmakers face when negotiating large-scale projects in the public eye.

Settings

Size:
> 1 billion; Fortune 500
Other setting(s):
2018-2019

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